Readings' list

Winograd, T. 2006. Shifting viewpoints: Artificial intelligence and human--computer interaction. Artif. Intell. 170, 18 (Dec. 2006), 1256-1258.

Summary/ Key Points

HCI and AI: they have two contrasting approaches.

  1. AI. Rationalistic
    aspires to model people as cognitive machines, whose internal mechanisms parallel those we build into digital computers. An expression of this is Newell and Simon's physical symbol system hypothesis. Newell's conception was inspirational for the founding text on HCI as a discipline of cognitive engineering (Card, Moran, Newell: "The psychology of Human Computer Interaction", 1983").
    The key assumption is that essential aspects of thought can be captured in a formal symbolic representation. So we can create intelligent programs and we can design systems that optimize human interaction.
  2. HCI. Design
    The focus is not on modeling intelligent internal workings, but on the interactions between a person and the enveloping environment.
    These bring along a shift in what kind of understanding is pursues. In design there often aren't predictive models of human interpretation and behavior. Design doesn't requires a calculation to see if "it works", but an iterative process of prototype testing and refinement.
    "Enlightened trial and error outperforms the planning of flawless intellect." (David Kelley).

Today's there is a debate about the roles of analysis and design in creating new interfaces and understanding the way people interact with them. There is a need for a "T-shaped" approach:
- - deep analytical understanding of a scientific or technological domain

- | ability to bring design thinking to problems in a holistic way, recognizing the limitation of analysis and developing the ability to work effectively in problem areas that carry the unavoidable complexity and messiness of the human situation.

Disclaimer: I wrote these summaries to help me remember the content and the main ideas of the paper. Since I am interested in certain aspects, I may leave out others.

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